Province of Messina
National Parks

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Our most recommended Province of Messina National Parks

From Taormina: Sunset Experience on Mount Etna Upper Craters

1. From Taormina: Sunset Experience on Mount Etna Upper Craters

Begin your journey by boarding a coach with your friendly and knowledgeable tour leader. This will take you approximately 1900 meters (about 6233 feet) up Mount Etna, where you will then switch to jeeps in order to get within a safe proximity of the main crater area at 3000 (about 9840 feet) meters elevation. During your ascent, you’ll be escorted by licensed guides of the CAI - Italian Alpine Club.   Mount Etna is an active volcano on the east coast of Sicility, and the tallest active volcano in Europe, standing at 3,350 meters (about 10990 feet). It’s also one of the most active volcanoes in the world and in an almost constant state of activity since its first eruption about half a million years ago.   After reaching the highest authorized area, stop to experience a stunning sunset as the fading sun’s colors cover the volcano, the Valley of the Bove, and all of the expansive surroundings. Following the sunset, return by jeep to 1900 meters, at which point it will be time for a wonderful dinner at your expense in a local restaurant to finish off the evening.

From Taormina: Etna Upper Craters Day Tour

2. From Taormina: Etna Upper Craters Day Tour

Explore the highest, active volcano in Europe on this day tour from Taormina. Travel by cable car and jeep to the top of Mount Etna with a local guide. After being picked up, relax as you are driven to visit the highest volcano in Europe with its smoking peak seen throughout Sicily. Drive to the Mount Etna Refuge with the opportunity for refreshments as you ready yourself for further ascent.  Climb higher by cable car up to 2,500 meters. Continue by jeeps up to the authorized upper crater zones with the assistance of licensed guides of the Italian Alpine Club. See the 4 distinct craters at the summit area and more than 300 vents on the flanks, ranging in size from small holes to large craters. Stop to admire the eventual activity of the summit craters in a safety zone according to weather conditions.

From Taormina: Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges

3. From Taormina: Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorges

Enjoy a full-day tour of the highest volcano in Europe, Mount Etna. Tour guests meet at the bus terminal in Taormina, Via Pirandello. The tour is led by a knowledgeable tour leader. You can enjoy exclusive information of the history of Mount Etna and the surrounding areas. An air-conditioned coach will transport you to the Alcantara Gorges (entry extra). This is an impressive natural sculpture. Thousands of years ago the riverbed was blocked by lava flow from Mount Etna, and as the lava cooled more quickly than the water it crystallized. Tall columns of lava have since stood here and as the river eroded through the lava it has created a series of impressive gorges. Don’t forget your camera. The trip continues on board the Circumetnea, a traditional train that winds around the foot of the volcano reaching up to Adrano in the south. Then. by coach, reach Rifugio Sapienza, at an altitude of 1.900 meters on the southern side. Then, ascend via cable car and jeep to the authorized crater zones, assisted by licensed guides of the CAI (Italian Alpine Club). Stop to admire the eventual activity of the summit craters in the area of security. At the end of the tour, you will be driven back to Taormina where the tour ends.

From Catania: Full-Day Mount Etna and Taormina Tour

4. From Catania: Full-Day Mount Etna and Taormina Tour

Jump in the shuttle bus and head out into the lunar landscape of one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Etna. At over 6,500 ft (1,981 meters), this majestic mountain dominates the coastline, concealing plenty of treasures within its lair. No trip to Sicily would be complete without a visit to the tempestuous territories of Mount Etna. Starting at Rifugio Sapienza, follow the line of the old Silvestri craters down into a cave of lava formed during the eruption of 1792. From here, head to the province of Zafferana, where you'll visit a local organic farm and sample honey and wine, cultivated in the fertile soils of the region. En route to Taormina, look at the spectacular wildlife reserve of Isola Bella from above. Upon arrival, spend lunch at your leisure, then re-group to check out the highlights of this unique historical town. From the old-world charm of the ancient Greek theater to the breathtaking views of the Bay of Nexus and the striking architecture of Palazza Corvaja, this town steals the heart of every visitor.

Sicily: Mount Etna 4x4 Jeep Tour with Lava Caves & Forests

5. Sicily: Mount Etna 4x4 Jeep Tour with Lava Caves & Forests

2002 Lava front. The first visit is the 2002 lava flow, reachable by jeep through a winding dirt road surrounded by chestnut and oak forests. The 2002 eruption lasted from October 27th to January 29th 2003 and it is considered one of the most explosive eruptions of the past one hundred years Corruccio Cave’s Continuing our excursion we will reach the Ragabo pine forest where hidden among pines and brooms, we will discover the cave of Corruccio (1350 meters above sea level) a cave formed by flowing lava. Piano Provenzana Later, driving up along the Mareneve road we will reach Piano Provenzana (1800 meters above sea level), a ski resort, theater of the great eruption of 2002. After enjoying an excellent espresso, we will take a short walk to visit the ruins of the hotel Le Betulle destroyed by a molten lava flow. Monti Sartorius Our tour continues with a short walk to some of the side craters, the Sartorius Mountains (1700 meters above sea level), formed in the year 1865 and characterized by seven small, aligned eruptive cones (or "buttonholes"). This area holds great geological and botanical treasures, and our tour winds along clearings rich in endemic species, large volcanic “bombs” and woodlands dominated by birch trees (Betula Aetnensis). Halfway down from the top of one of the craters, one can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Ionian coast, from Riposto to Taormina, the Calabrian coast, the North-East Crater (3350 meters above sea level), the impressive dark lava formations of 2002 and the eruptive mouths (2000 meters above sea level), near the tourist resort of Piano Provenzana. Traveling through one of the wine roads of Sicily and crossing large expanses of vineyards (Etna D.O.C.), we will arrive at a local restaurant. This is the ideal place to enjoy relaxing moments surrounded by nature while sampling local cuisine and excellent wines. (Lunch not included) Alcantara River In the afternoon we will discover a unique canyon comprised of basaltic lava (the “Alcantara” Gorges) and shaped by the waters of the Alcantara river. The Alcantara's vertical cliffs reach 30 meters in height and its structures have been forged by high intensity geological and geothermal events. In prehistoric times, a river flowed here over clay sediments until a massive volcanic eruption channeled magma into the river bed forming the current canyons. After this stop, we end our memorable day and return to town.

Mt. Etna: Private Tour in 4x4 from Taormina

6. Mt. Etna: Private Tour in 4x4 from Taormina

This private adventure begins with hotel pick up from Taormina or Giardini Naxos. In the comfort of an air-conditioned, 4WD vehicle, take on regular and unpaved roads as you ascend to the extinct craters at an altitude of 2,000 meters. Break away from the classic tourist itineraries to discover unique panoramas enriched by stories and fun facts from your experienced guide.  Walk amongst lunar landscapes on Europe's highest active volcano and UNESCO World Heritage Site and view the ancient lava flow, the Etna forest, Valley of Bove, and extinct craters. What's more, put on your helmet and headlamp, provided by your guide, and make your way through a long, underground tunnel, formed by the lava flow.  To ascend the summit area at 3,0000 meters, you may purchase a cable car ticket on the spot. After a full day of touring, hotel drop-off is provided.

Etna: Bove Valley Hiking Tour with Volcanologist Guide

7. Etna: Bove Valley Hiking Tour with Volcanologist Guide

The park of Etna has been part of the UNESCO heritage list for several years, and it offers a thrilling trekking in a exciting path on the north side of the volcano. Starting at an altitude of about 1 mile, at the Rifugio Sapienza, you'll catch the cablecar up to 1.5 miles above sea level. After, you'll trek to reach the ridge of the Bove Valley, an extensive depression that occupies most of the eastern flank of the volcano, where you can admire many lava flows because today it is a natural basin and protection for the villages at the bottom of the volcano. Once you reach the ridge of the Bove valley you can observe the top of the active crater and be fascinated by the beauty of the volcano. Along the way you will encounter lunar landscapes and rich Etnei woods.

Taormina and Catania: Mount Etna Exploration and Cave Tour

8. Taormina and Catania: Mount Etna Exploration and Cave Tour

Begin your trip to Etna with an easy walk around the Sartorius Craters, whose eruption is dated back to 1865. This excursion to Mount Etna will allow you to understand the different types of eruptions that can take place on volcanoes, as you undergo an easy trek of about 4 kilometers up and down this interesting fissure eruption site. Afterward, head to the Etna Nord Ski Resort, where a lunch break is planned in a beautiful chalet at 1,900 meters above sea level. Following lunch, embark on a cave exploration of a lava tube. Created by a prehistoric lava flow, it is now enriched by the Etna birch forest which surrounds it. This cave was allegedly used for some time by bandits, whereas others say the tunnel was used to store snow during winter to then be used in the warmer seasons. Whatever the truth behind its common use during the past centuries, it's a wonderful place to explore with caving equipment such as helmets and torches to ensure a safe visit. If time allows, the excursion will conclude with a free tasting of Etna's finest products, including honey, wine, liqueurs and much more at a local producer in Zafferana Etnea. This village of honey sits along the Etna Wine Route, which will lead you back to your accommodation where you will be dropped off at the conclusion of your tour. Alternatively, upgrade your experience to a private tour and enjoy an itinerary adapted to your desires, specifications, and pace. The guide will follow a tailor-made itinerary based on your requests, a route that can also be reviewed during the day.

From Catania/Taormina: Mount Etna Cablecar & 4WD Tour

9. From Catania/Taormina: Mount Etna Cablecar & 4WD Tour

After being picked up from your accommodation in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle, set off in the direction of Mount Etna. Embark on an adventurous drive up to the volcano, passing by the small towns of Pedara, Nicolosi, and Zafferana Etnea and cold lava fields. Reach the Rifugio Sapienza Etna starting point where the next portion of the tour begins. Your English-speaking guide will explain to you the most interesting phenomena of the active volcano and about the plants and animals of the region. Climb into a cable car and soar up to an altitude of 2500 m. Next, continue upwards to 2900m in a special jeep. Explore the area at the foot of the main crater known as Torre del Filosofo. Marvel at the stunning views over the Mediterranean Sea if it is a clear day. During a 40-minute tour of the area, your expert alpine/volcanology guide will explain all about the geology of the area and how the hot smoking craters were formed after the 2002-2003 eruption.  After this, return to the Rifugio Sapienza to enjoy a traditional Sicilian lunch at a chalet. Once you've filled your belly, get kitted up with helmets and flashlights and begin on an unforgettable adventure inside a real lava cave. At the end of the tour,  you will be driven back to your accommodation in Catania or Taormina.

From Taormina or Catania: Full-Day Mount Etna Hike

10. From Taormina or Catania: Full-Day Mount Etna Hike

Hike on Mount Etna's finest trails to discover one of Europe's most famous volcanos. Enjoy a trek over extinct craters, lava flows, lava tubes, and have a fantastic view over the dramatic beauty of the Valle del Bove caldera. During your hike discover the beauty of Mount Etna and see the vibrant active craters of the summit. Enjoy the view along the volcano's flanks and see the Ionian Coast from Taormina to Catania. This tour is adaptable to all levels of hikers and transportation is carried out with off-road pickups vehicles. Depending on the season, your lunch includes a picnic in the outdoors or at a restaurant with typical Sicilian products. If time allows, your excursion will conclude with a complimentary tasting of Etna's finest products, including honey, wine, liqueurs and much more at a local producer in Zafferana Etnea. This village of honey sits along the Etna Wine Route, which will lead you back to your accommodation where you will be dropped off as the tour concludes.

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What people are saying about Province of Messina

Giuseppe (Joseph) was an amazing guide, helpful and enthusiastic, as he told us the stories and geology of the area. Mount Etna was breathtaking as usual, you have the option to take the cable car up to 2,800m up (€65 extra) but if you don’t want to do this like we didn’t, you’re still getting your money’s worth! We walked around the edge and went into a crater instead. We even got taken up to a quiet spot where you could hear Mama Etna rumbling and exploding! Taormina was wonderful too, a lot more clean and touristy than Catania in my opinion, and the taste testing was lovely, especially the honey. Try the pistachio honey if you go! I would recommend this tour to anyone. I’ll remember this experience for the rest of my life!

It was well organised, the guide told us all of needed information - she spoke English, German and Italian! Local people guided us on the Etna, the tour was quite individual but it was too short, it would be better for have more time on the mountain

It was a beautiful trip to Alcantara. Our guide, Nino was terrific. We also very much enjoyed the wine tasting and antipasti platter. The Sommalier, Antonia was so friendly, knowledgeable and made the visit a lot of fun! Beautiful restaurant.

Shocking views of mount etna. The day was filled with activities of all kinds. The guide didn’t let us wait long and have nothing to do. There was great communication with the team. I would totally recommend it.

Giacomo was a great guide, adapting to the needs of the participants and very accommodating. Would do a tour again anytime